Using and Customizing Shortcuts

Alexey Subach

T.C. Hollingsworth


Many KDE applications allow you to configure keyboard shortcuts. To open the standard keyboard shortcuts configuration panel, go to SettingsConfigure Shortcuts....

In the Configure Shortcuts window, you will see a list of all the shortcuts available in the current application. You can use the search box at the top to search for the shortcut you want.

The Customize Shortcuts window.

Searching for shortcuts with file in Dolphin.

Changing a Shortcut

To change a shortcut, first click on the name of a shortcut you want to change. You will see a radio group where you can choose whether to set the shortcut to its default value, or select a new shortcut for the selected action. To set a new shortcut, choose Custom and click on the button next to it. Then just type the shortcut you would like to use, and your changes will be saved.

The Customize Shortcuts window demonstrating how to set a shortcut.

Resetting Shortcuts

There is a button at the bottom of the window, called Reset to Defaults. Clicking on this button will reset all your custom shortcuts to their default values.

You can also reset an individual shortcut to its default value by selecting it, and choosing the Default radio button.

Removing a Shortcut

To remove a shortcut, select it from the list, then click the remove icon (a black arrow with a cross) to the right of the button that allows you to select a shortcut.

Working with Schemes

Schemes are keyboard shortcuts configuration profiles, so you can create several profiles with different shortcuts and switch between these profiles easily.


This feature is under development. It is not possible to import schemes using a GUI at this time.

The Customize Shortcuts window displaying the scheme editing tools.

Editing a scheme called work.

To see a menu allowing you to edit schemes, click on the Details button at the bottom of the form. The following options will appear:

Current Scheme

Allows you to switch between your schemes.


Creates a new scheme. This opens a window that lets you select a name for your new scheme.


Deletes the current scheme.

More Actions

Opens the following menu:

Save as Scheme Default

Sets the current scheme as the default for all new schemes.

Export Scheme...

Exports the current scheme to a file named applicationnameschemenameshortcuts.rc.

Move this file to the folder $KDEDIR/apps/applicationname/ and the exported scheme will be available in the drop down box labelled Current Scheme

Printing Shortcuts

You can print out a list of shortcuts for easy reference by clicking the Print button at the bottom of the window.

Thanks and Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Google Code-In 2011 participant Alexey Subach for writing much of this section.